Editor’s Note: A November Surprise? 2Q DR Media Results Bode Well for Future1 Nov, 2012 By: Thomas Haire Response
What feels like the longest — and is certainly most expensive — presidential campaign in history comes to a close this month. While weary voters finally get the opportunity to make their choice on Nov. 6, perhaps direct response marketers are the ones breathing the biggest sigh of relief.
It’s well known that the month of October has long been the bane of DRTV. I have no doubt that media results for October 2012 will be among some of the worst ever for marketers in the space. With spending by both candidates — and, especially, outside interests spurred on by the controversial 2010 Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case — up, TV time was at more of a premium than usual.
It wouldn’t be the strangest thing ever, then, if you started seeing tests for a lot of new DRTV products roll out as early as the morning of Nov. 7. I’ve heard more than one leader in the space share recently that they were holding on to products that would have normally started testing until after Election Day.
But, did election spending — along with the record advertising results tied to the Summer Olympics in July and August — do enough to slow the momentum that the DRTV media market gained in the first two quarters of the year? I ask this question with the knowledge of what awaits you on page 16 — Kantar Media’s 2Q 2012 results showing the best second quarter for short-form DRTV media since we began analyzing their research in the middle of the past decade.
Those results — along with positive 1Q short-form results and the great increases shown in Response’s own long-form DRTV research for the first half of the year — have raised hopes that the marketplace is finally leaving its lengthy slumber that began in 2009. Certainly, with such a crowded landscape throughout the second half of the year, it’s hard to imagine record results in quarters three and four. But it will be intriguing to see if the DRTV media space has regained enough health to maintain steady numbers against the second half of 2011.
Certainly, other economic indicators have started to perk up in the past couple of months, creating hopes among many that the slow recovery from the Great Recession is picking up steam. If this continues, it will only be good news for the DRTV space. As consumer confidence grows and people begin to feel better about their own economic prospects, all marketers — not just those utilizing direct response — must begin to quickly capitalize on the opportunities afforded.
No matter your political persuasion, more DRTV media availability, a healthier economy and more spending cash for consumers are good for all of us.
— Thomas Haire, Editor-in-Chief